When Addiction is Subtle And WW Linkup

Tangled Up

Today I want to move forward in our “Resurrect Me” series on the addictions, compulsions and bad habits we ALL have in our lives by focusing on the next verse in our key passage (James 4:1-10), verse 3 …

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” ~James 4:3

Almost always the source of addictions, compulsions and bad habits come from our desire for pleasure or at the very least the attempt to avoid pain.

It’s easy to spot the obvious pleasures that we become addicted to, but what about the subtle, more invisible pleasures that turn into addictions?

Sometimes we can feel a sense of superiority over those who are alcoholics, drug addicts, porn addicts, sex addicts, even food addicts, etc. I believe that is because we foolishly believe that “addiction” is not a part of our lives.

But can anyone really say that in all honesty?

I just don’t think so.

[Tweet “We all have something or someone in our life that is addictive to us. “]

By that I mean, we have let our desire for that something or someone become so important that we will do whatever it takes to get that “pleasure” or “freedom from pain.”

Sadly, we will even sin to get it! 😦

Some of the more subtle desires for pleasure look like:

  1. Anxiety that seems only to be calmed by trying to take control in a situation.
  2. Anxiety that seems only to be calmed by worrying about a situation (an internal form of “control”).
  3. An overwhelming need to impress others by how we dress, look or what we achieve.
  4. A driving desire to be accepted by others to the point of insecurity when we don’t get it.
  5. Over-involvement in church, work, or volunteering activities, because we feel like it fills a hole that our spouse or God isn’t appearing to fill.
  6. A nagging and strangling need for an offender to admit his/her wrong attitude or actions to us.
  7. A restlessness and continual doubt in the Lord because our suffering and loss isn’t stopping.
  8. A chronic demand for validation from our spouse that turns into resentment when it isn’t offered.
  9. Constant pressure to make money because you never know when the bottom might drop out!
  10. A longing to matter to someone so much that we lose sight of what really matters.

Can you check off at least one of those subtle bad habits above?

I struggle with the need for control and often let my anxiety propel me into micromanaging. I get dangerously close to the line of wanting to “dress to impress” more times than I like to admit. I have someone in my life that I’ve resented far too long for not acknowledging the hurt that’s been caused in my life. #forgivenessfail

I could go on, but you get the idea!

So … if a pastor’s wife who loves God deeply, who typically spends at least an hour in God’s word every day (really not trying to brag here, but drive home a point!), and who tries to live a life that is honoring to God can still be tangled up by, at the very least, bad and destructive habits, then who is immune?

[Tweet “Don’t fool yourself. We’re all in the same boat on the rocky waters of addiction and sin. “]

I think the first step toward experiencing the “resurrected life” that Christ can give us by freeing us from our addictions is to recognize that we’ve let our desire for pleasure or freedom from pain consume us in some way or another.

Hello, my name is Beth and I am addicted to control, etc., etc., etc.!

So how do we find freedom from that addictive source?  Well, I know one thing … it isn’t by simply quitting or removing the temptation from our lives. I’ll continue to unpack what it DOES mean next week. I hope you’ll join me!


Which of the subtle addictions above are you or have you gotten tangled up in?


Why do you think it’s easy to overlook the destructiveness of these more subtle addictions?


Today I am with my hubby Gary at a Peacemakers conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, getting our Peacemakers certification! 🙂 So I will not be able to visit the blogs of those who linkup or comment for this Wedded Wed. In fact, this month is a VERY busy one for me, so I may not be as engaged as I like to be, but you all are in my thoughts and many of you are in my prayers! Thanks so much for your support of MM! xxoo

Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Family, Friendship and Faith, DanceWithJesusFriday and Wholehearted Wednesday.

Join our Wedded Wednesday Linkup!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to Wedded Wednesday or Messy Marriage as well. For Wedded Wednesday guidelines and buttons, click here.


Messy Marriage
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.messymarriage.com" title="Messy Marriage"><img src="http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/m502/bethsteff/Messy%20Marriage%20Buttons/WeddedWednesday170.jpg" alt="Messy Marriage" style="border:none;" /></a></div><<br<span id="mce_marker" data-mce-type="bookmark">​</span><span id="__caret">_</span><span id="mce_marker" data-mce-type="bookmark">​</span><span id="__caret">_</spa<br><br><br><br>BByt By<br>BBy </p></p></p></p></p>

// <![CDATA[
// ]]>

17 responses to “When Addiction is Subtle And WW Linkup”

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great post, Beth…and very brave of you to admit to aspects of the ‘subtle list’.

    Funny thing…I don’t really have any problem with anything on the list. Not through any kind of virtue on my part, but none of those things seem to matter. They all carry with them a certain weight of responsibility, and I’m not up to it.



  2. Thank you for sharing about addictions today.
    Do have a splendid time at the conference.
    God bless you and your family


  3. Bev @ Walking Well With God Avatar
    Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Numbers 1 & 2 hit me where it hurts. Just when I think I have the “control thing” licked…it rears its ugly head again. I know worrying situations into control doesn’t work…yet I still turn there at times. It’s almost as if when I feel the anxiety rising, I need to lift whatever I’m anxious about up and lay it on the altar before God…a visual picture of my relinquishing it into God’s control (after all, isn’t that the best place for it?). Thanks for some good things to ponder this am. Hi, I’m Bev and I’m a recovering control freak….have a good day!


  4. I’ve been the addicted. I’ve lived with the addicted. I’ve raised the addicted. Only by God’s grace…xo


  5. […] Sharing With: Wedded Wednesday. […]


  6. “I think the first step toward experiencing the “resurrected life” that Christ can give us by freeing us from our addictions is to recognize that we’ve let our desire for pleasure or freedom from pain consume us in some way or another…”
    Truth is always the beginning to freedom. I am eagerly waiting to continue with you on this series Beth, thanks for listening to God and following His lead on this blog.
    Have a super blessed day!


  7. Hi Beth! I’m so glad you and your hubby are attending the Peacemakers conference. I’m praying it is fruitful for both of you.

    I tend to be a worrier. In fact, I have become very good at masking it but inside the waters are churning with worry. I always tell others I get this honestly from my mom who was the same way. However, I know that worry can become stifling so I pray that I learn how to release it to God daily and let Him carry the burden. I’m praying you had a blessed Easter. I’m glad to be back but still working on re-entry into the real world.


  8. Wow I’ve never thought of those things as addictions. But they certainly are! I struggle with control for sure. And if I’m being honest, I probably dabble in all of the others to an extent. Thanks for the wake up call today!


  9. Susan Burfoot Mead Avatar
    Susan Burfoot Mead

    Thanks for sharing. It’s so easy to get entangled in so many ways.


  10. And this is exactly why I just featured you on my Scads of Marriage Resources post, friend …


  11. Very interesting. It is something I am wrestling with now with someone close to me. What a great post.


  12. “A nagging and strangling need for an offender to admit his/her wrong attitude or actions to us.”

    As someone who was previously in an abusive marriage, I can tell you this was a powerful addiction that was not easily overcome.

    It started out sincere enough, in truly desiring relational healing and realizing that healing cannot come without good communication and addressing issues.

    The problem came when, over time, it became increasingly apparent the abusive spouse would never take responsibility for her actions and even when she ‘sort of’ did, it was always in a dismissive manner that deflected most of the blame elsewhere. In an effort to make things right, I would push harder trying to find a way to effectively communicate the real issues.

    It took a while to finally realize we can never convince anyone of anything they don’t want to see. And we can only be responsible for things over which God has given us control.

    Thanks for another great post, Beth! Have a great time at the conference!


  13. Beth, I hope you have a wonderful time at your conference. I am drawn to comfort. Which means I can say no to opportunities to enjoy my family in activities that include sweating and bugs. You’ve give me something to think about.


  14. #2 – I internalize my worry so everyone else sees “calm” but inside of me is a mess as I think of the “what if” scenarios. I’ve gotten much better at doing less what if’s as I turn to the truth of God’s Word & know What Is!


  15. bluecottonmemory Avatar

    I grew up programmed I think to be anxious, but I’ve spent over ten years re-programming my worry response. I think I’m addicted to “fixing” things and wanting wrongs to be righted – but I’m trying to re-program my responses there, too! I’m learning to “give” these issues to God – and not have a tug of war with him over taking them back. It’s hard!


  16. Hi Beth, I have to be very careful and recognize the needs for validation and approval. It’s a slippery slope for me. I am praising God He has delivered me from the chains, but I know that I have to keep doing the work so that I don’t end up there again!
    Thanks so much for another great post!


  17. […] I have a confession to make … I’m an adulterer. Sadly, I have sins in my life that have moved from a one time offense, to a habit, to a compulsion, to an addiction. I mentioned some of those in my last post that you can read here. […]


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: